Cozy Cute

Jack’s BB Dakota Shirt | Flying Monkey Jeans (sold out) Similar, Similar| Booties (sold out) Similar

Happy March friends! I haven’t done an outfit post on here for awhile, so today I thought I would share with you an outfit that I have been wearing on repeat lately. While I am ready to pull out my complete Spring wardrobe and begin wearing cute sun dresses 24/7, the weather here in Kansas is refusing to cooperate. Most days winter weather is the norm with highs below freezing, but we have had some warmer days here and there promising that Spring will return soon. In the meantime though, I am wearing as many pastel colors as I can to try to appease my Spring fever. This shirt in particular has been a favorite of mine that I have worn at least once a week since the end of January! I love how the muted blush color acknowledges we’re not in full fledged Spring yet while still giving a nod to the hope of what is coming. My favorite way to wear it is like I did here with my black jeans, but it looks just as cute with dark or light jeans! Versatile tops like this are always such a staple in my wardrobe!

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

My Skincare Routine

Hello friends!

I have been receiving numerous questions lately about my skincare routine, so I decided to put it together for you! I have uploaded a video to my InstagramTV where you can see how I utilize all of the products that will be mentioned in this post. As a reference, I am 27 and have a combination skin type, so my goals are to keep my skin moisturized, control oil and preventative aging. Anyways, without further ado, lets look at my morning routine!

I like to begin each morning with washing my face and my favorite facial cleanser is the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel. If you’re not sure what cleanser or other products you are in need of, a great place to start is this skincare quiz offered by Mario Badescu, another one I have utilized as a starting place for what my skin is in need of is this quiz by Beauty Bio. While I may not use every product from that company mentioned, they have guided me in researching what I need to find for my skin type as I have tried multiple brands over the years.

After washing my face I use the Vichy Mineral 89 as a pre-serum to help protect my skin from pollutants and then follow it with Loreal’s Revitalift Hydraulic Acid. I then like to use my jade roller to make sure that it gets properly absorbed into my skin and also to reduce the early morning puffiness under my eyes. I then finish up with my daytime moisturizer, the Collagen Moisturizer by Mario Badescu. At this point I am ready to begin with my makeup for the day!

Now we can discuss my evening skincare routine. I begin by removing my makeup using makeup wipes from Walmart, I don’t use anything fancy, they just need to be able to remove my makeup for me. Once my makeup is removed I wash my face using the Enzyme Cleansing Gel from Mario Badescu and then put some Cucumber Cleansing Lotion on a cotton ball rub on my face and neck to ensure a clean canvas. At this point I use my microneedling tool over my whole face and neck. I currently have a cheaper one as I wanted to try it before investing, but since I like it so much I am definitely looking at investing into a nicer one, so I will link a cheaper as well as nicer option below! Once I am finished with microneedling, I once again use Loreal’s Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid over my face and neck rolling it in with my jade roller. I am now ready to finish up my skin with my Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream and Glycolic Eye Cream. Finally I like to use some lip balm and Monet’s Eye Wonder Eyelash Serum and I am ready to relax!

Above are my morning and evening skincare routines, but below I will share with you a few other products that I like to use as well, just not every day. The first one is Facial Nair, you place it on your face like a mask (I only do the chin, cheeks and upper lip) and let it set for five minutes. Once the time is done you wipe it off with a warm washcloth and it removes any peach fuzz on your face ensuring that you have a smooth canvas for applying your makeup. After using the Facial Nair I like to use a dermaplaner to remove any excess fuzz that the Nair might have missed as well as to exfoliate my skin. I only do this routine every two weeks as my hair does not grow fast enough to need it more often. On the off weeks from using the Nair and dermaplaner, I like to exfoliate using the Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub. It provides a gentle exfoliation while moisturizing my skin as well, and while we’re on the topic of exfoliating I exfoliate my lips 2-3 times a week using Ulta’s Watermelon Lip Scrub.

At this point I do not have any affordable retinol products that I have found that I absolutely love to implement into my skincare routine, but if I find some I will be sure to pass it on to all of you! I will link up all of these products below, and be sure to check out the video on my InstagramTV!

XOXO,

Leighton Michele

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel | Vichy Mineral 89 | Loreal Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid | Jade Roller | Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturizer | Mario Badescu Hydrating Facial Spray | Nyx Green Tea Blotting Paper | Pure ‘n Gentle Makeup Remover Wipes (not available online) | Cucumber Cleansing Lotion | Microneedling cheaper option, pricier option | Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream | Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream | Eye Wonder by Monat Eyelash Serum | Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub | Ulta Beauty Watermelon Lip Scrub | Dermaner by Finishing Touch | Facial Nair

Encouragement for Single Ladies on Valentines Day

Black and blush combo in Delano

Black and blush combo in Delano

Black and blush combo in Delano

H&M Black Bodysuit | Soprano Blush Tulle Skirt (sold out) similar, similar Arturo Chiang Studded Pumps (sold out) similar

It can be hard sometimes, can’t it?  This single life.  Most of the time you’re decent at faking it, and there are even very real seasons that you’re actually grateful that you’re still single as it allows you the freedom to experience things that your friends who are married are not as easily able to experience.  It does not change the fact though that there are very real seasons of loneliness and times when you wish you could do life with someone as it seems everyone else does.  I want to let you know this Valentine’s Day that you are not alone.  I’ll start by being open and sharing my own struggle.  This past Christmas and birthday were hard for me.  I would love to be married and be a wife and mom, but that is not the season that God has me in right now, and while I still hope for that someday, I am also very aware that it is not promised to me.  To all of you other beautiful single ladies out there, I want you to know that it is ok to cry sometimes when the ache in your heart to hold your own little one as you hear that another friend is having a baby or the longing to have someone “pop the question” to you becomes overwhelming as you see on Facebook that yet another friend is engaged.  Go ahead and cry.  It does not mean that you are less excited or happy for that friend, it is simply an acknowledgement that your heart longs for the same.  The secret I’ve learned is to not stay there, but rather after the tears have begun to slow to cry out to the one who holds my future and knows where life will lead.  I promise you, God has not forgotten us.  While life may not look how we always thought it would, that does not mean that God does not have something amazing planned for you, different is not always bad, it can actually be just as good and sometimes better.

Secondly, surround yourself with a community of friends who are there on your side.  It can be so tempting to bottle all of the emotions up inside, but you won’t find healing that way.  Open up to your community and ask them to stand alongside of you.  I have one friend in particular that anytime I can feel myself beginning to feel lonely or wishing my life had followed the route I had thought it would, I send her a text message and she prays for me and sends encouragement reminding me of truth.  Your community does not have to all be single either, two of my dearest friends are both married and one has a precious little one and the other is expecting her first baby.  They have been an amazing source of strength to me by letting me be a part of their lives!  Being around them and their families is actually healing rather than hurtful, my friends little boy always puts the biggest smile on my face and both of them have been incredible encouragements.  I also have learned so much about relationships thanks to them that I would not have learned otherwise, and whether I get married or not that is invaluable!

Finally, life does not suddenly magically begin when you get married, it is happening right now!  Don’t waste these years wishing for something you can have no control over. Instead, go live life as full as you can!  Some of my favorite stories my mom would tell me growing up happened before she met my dad, and you know the reason she had those stories?  It is because she chose to make the most of her single years and lived them fully!  Make this time you are living now worth looking back on and smiling over instead of looking back and realizing that you wasted such a large portion of your life.  This is your chance to go on that trip of a life time, volunteer at your church or that mission downtown.  Go find a younger girl and invest in her life, you will never regret it!  Spend time investing in the friendships and relationships you currently have in your life, one of the things my married friends has taught me is that when you are married you still need those girl friends just as much as you did before you were married.

I want to challenge you this Valentine’s Day to not stay at home wishing that someone special was there to celebrate the day with.  Go find some single friends and invite them to a Galentines or Palentines party!  Or if you’re like me and nearly all of your local friends are married, host a Galentines party a few days before or after Valentines Day.  Go make memories that you want to remember!

Finally, I just want you to know that you are a beautiful, amazing young woman.  Yes YOU!  Not having a significant other does not make you any less wonderful as the woman in a relationship.  You already are LOVED, CHERISHED AND BEAUTIFUL.  God has not forgotten you, and He has not left you alone.  He is on your side and He is in your corner.  I also am here for you if you need someone.

Happy Valentines Day!

Leighton Michele

Doughnuts?

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Shirt: A New Day Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad JackRogers: Jack Rogers Similar,  Similar, Similar Earrings: Similar

I don’t know about you, but summer Saturday’s were made for morning doughnut runs and picnics.  One of my favorite local doughnut places is Hurt’s Donuts, a fun shop filled with unique doughnut creations!  Here I am eating the “Homer”, but I also picked out: chocolate birthday cake, little timmy, cookie monster, cotton candy and andes.  And the thing is, this is not even scratching the surface of all the options they have!  If you are ever visiting the midwest, it is definitely worth your time to drop by and make a visit.  (And bonus points, they are open 24/7!!!)

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

 

 

 

Saturday Morning Farmer’s Markets

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Dress: Neesee’s Dresses, sold out Similar Purse: Target, sold out  Shoes: Target, old similar   Earrings: SugarFix

 

One of the things I love to do in the summer is visit the local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings.   I was so excited to hear ours was opening a few weeks ago and hurried over the first Saturday they opened.  While it is still a little early in the season to be able to buy my fruits and veggies there, I loved getting to walk through and pick out some flowers as well as look at all of the craft booths.  What are some of your favorite things to look for at the farmer’s market?

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

Mother’s Day Lunch

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My family celebrated Mother’s Day a little early two weekends ago when my aunts were in town visiting and my parents invited everyone over to their house.  I am blessed to live in the same city as all of my grandparents, so I was able to celebrate with my grandma and all of my aunts on my mom’s side of the family as well as my mom.  I am the decorator in my family and decided that I wanted to go with a flower garden theme for the event, so I rounded up some help, aka my dad, and we went on a run to get all of the supplies after I got off work the night before the luncheon and made it back about one in the morning!  I literally bought everything from Walmart or Target and it turned out so beautiful!  I bought several flowers as well as planters and used them to decorate with as well as fun twinkling lights to add to the atmosphere.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I also bought some nice plates and a table cloth all in blush pink and light grey to nicely accent the flowers I had chosen.   It made the day more special for everyone and then my mom was able to take the flowers afterwards and plant them in her garden to enjoy all summer long!

My aunt and cousin also own Magnolia Photographers and brought their equipment along to take some mother/daughter as well as cousin and sister pictures!  We haven’t had some good pictures taken in awhile, so it was so great to be able to work with them and have some photos taken.

If you do not have your present for Mother’s Day yet, arranging to have family photos taken is a gift I can guarantee any mom will love.  If you happen to live in the midwest area, you should definitely check out my aunt and cousins business, they do great work and were so much fun to work with.  I linked to their Instagram account above.

Xoxo,

Leighton Michele

California Dreaming

I am so excited about today’s post!  It had been too long since I had last been to the ocean, and even longer still since I had been there on a vacation, so getting to spend a day warm on the sand was heavenly (and to anyone who caught that Disney reference, we are instant besties).   If I am being honest, the weather was a little cooler than I had hoped for, I think it was in the upper fifties, maybe low sixties, but I still pulled out my swimsuit and a cute summer dress for the day.   Monterrey was a little less than a three hour drive away and we headed straight for Carmel Beach in Carmel-By-The-Sea.  I had a lot of people hype this place up to me, and often when that happens I find myself disappointed, but truthfully, it was better than any expectations I had!  The water was so beautiful and the atmosphere there is something I cannot describe.  Driving through Carmel-By-The-Sea on the way to the beach was like driving through a fairy tale!  Every home was so unique and had a magical look unlike anything I have ever seen!  Then to walk from such a setting straight onto the beach… truly, there are not words to describe it.  If you are ever in the area, truly give yourself more than a day.  I am already dreaming of going back and spending longer in this beautiful area of California!

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The first thing I wanted to do was run and get my feet in the water, so I slipped my sandals off and I was ready to go!  I literally ran straight into the water and quickly discovered that it was cold!  I may have worn my swimsuit under my dress, but it sadly never did see the light of day, though I am still thankful I wore it since I did still manage to get wet while playing chicken with the waves, lol.

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Now, for a fun and random side note, I totally chose this outfit on purpose for a very unique reason.   When I first saw the movie Monte Carlo, I fell in love with Meg’s character and her sense of fashion.  My most favorite outfit that she wore was a peach shirt dress that doubled over her navy swimsuit and I was determined to find a way to duplicate that look the next time I made my way back to the beach and I am so excited that I was able to keep that promise to myself.  If you don’t remember what outfit I am talking about, go watch the movie or google “Meg from Monte Carlo’s shirt dress” and you’ll be able to see why I was so excited with how close this duplicate turned out!

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We spent several hours at the beach just wandering up and down it absorbing the beauty of it all.  One thing that we all discussed later that we really liked about our friend group was that while we were good about taking pictures, we were also really good at putting our phones away everywhere we went and just living in the moment spending time with each other and experiencing everything!   We all walked away with many pictures, but more importantly were able to walk away feeling like we actually lived our trip and not just photographed it which can often be a hard balance to find.

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Lori walking along the beach taking in the view of Pebble Beach Golf Course

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Candid of Megan and her boyfriend Ben sitting on the beach

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The sad thing is that the pictures don’t even do it justice as beautiful as they are!

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Me, Megan, Ben and Lori

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From Carmel Beach we decided to drive high way one all the way down past Big Sur which was a dream come true!  I grew up reading about this beautiful stretch of coastline and to be able to actually drive the highway that so many of my favorite book characters have driven was so surreal.   I can’t say for sure, but I do believe that we pulled over at nearly every.single.outlook. along the whole coast!  Each view was more beautiful than the last and deserved to be stopped and admired.  One word of advice though, take dramamine. Even if you are not normally prone to car sickness, believe me, Highway One will be the place you discover you can get it.

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The water was so clear and blue it didn’t even look real!

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Because good friends take that cute “pinterest picture” for you… 😉

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Then, we were there, the Big Sur Bridge!  It held a totally different kind of beauty than the Golden Gate in SF, but it was still so stunning!  You might say we were a little obsessed with bridges on this trip…

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After Big Sur Bridge, we had to decide whether we continued on for another thirty minutes to see McWay Falls, or head back to Monterrey to eat dinner since we were all starting to get hungry.  After a hard time making a decision, we last minute decided to go ahead and fully dive into the adventure we were on and go to the waterfall and we did not regret it for a single moment.  To see such a beautiful waterfall falling straight into the ocean is something that if given the opportunity a person should never miss out upon.

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Xoxo,
Leighton Michele

Outfit Details (you didn’t really think I was going to leave you hanging?!)

Dress: Similar , Similar, Similar, Similar  Swimsuit: Same Sandals: Same